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INFORMATION FOR PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYEES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers' Compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves.

Visit our COVID-19 site for information and FAQs updated regularly.

Federal CARES Update

The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed and gig workers; provide additional weeks of benefits for those exhausting unemployment compensation; and will increase the total weekly amount paid for claimants.  We will update our website with instructions on accessing these benefits as we receive guidance from the federal government. Please check our site regularly for updated instructions and to find FAQs about unemployment compensation

Self-employed Federal CARES Update

The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment.  Special instructions will be provided to these individuals.  At this time, you should NOT file a claim through the existing online system or phone number if you are not currently eligible for unemployment.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) BENEFITS

IMPORTANT CLAIMANT UPDATES

You may be eligible if:

  • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
  • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
  • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts

 Apply:

  • Online – it's the fastest and easiest way to get started

 Important info:

  • If you are eligible for UC, you will receive two letters and a four-digit PIN
  • Your PIN will arrive in the U.S. mail – keep it in a safe, easy to remember place
  • If approved, your first benefit payment should arrive within four weeks of filing for UC
  • Continue filing your bi-weekly claim (every two weeks) – even while waiting for approval
  • We are experiencing very large call volumes.  Please email us at uchelp@pa.gov.
  • For specific questions about your claim,  provide your full name (as it appears on your claim, including any suffix used) and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Note: Duplicative emails and/or requests may cause delays.

​The following rules have been temporarily suspended due to Governor Tom Wolf's emergency declaration to make it easier to file for UC benefits:

  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.pa.gov.
  • The Waiting Week is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the first week of unemployment.  Eligible claimants may now receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
  • At this time, benefits are not being extended beyond 26 weeks.


IMPORTANT CLAIMANT UPDATES

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Status of Claims Processing 

If you opened your claim between March 15 and March 21: We are working quickly to mail a PIN to you so you can file for benefits starting Sunday, March 29, 2020.  If you do not receive your PIN by Saturday, March 28, please remember that you may file any day through Friday, April 3, 2020.  If you do not receive your PIN in time for you to file by April 3, we will make accommodations for filing and will update these instructions, accordingly.
 
If you opened your claim between March 22 and March 28: Your first day to file will be Sunday, April 5, 2020. We will update these instructions, accordingly, as we monitor our progress with mail processing. 
 
For All New Claims: Mailing PINs is a top priority, so you may not have received your financial determination yet.  When you do receive your financial determination and if you detect an error, you may file an appeal at that time.  We are processing all documents as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience during this evolving situation. 

For Reopened Claims: If you reopened your claim since March 13, 2020, you may try filing your biweekly claims and receive a message that your claim is not active.  Please try again each day.  We are working to get claims reactivated as quickly as possible.  If your filing window expires (after Friday) and you still could not successfully file, we will make any older weeks available for filing once we reactivate your claim. 

  • Important information for CLAIMANTS in BANKRUPCTY –  Due to COVID-19, regular mail collection to the Department of Labor & Industry may be delayed or interrupted for the next few weeks due to many commonwealth employees working from home. As a result, if you have sent the department a bankruptcy notice, it may not be reviewed in time to avoid sending you billing notices or automatically offsetting your benefits.  To provide us with you bankruptcy notice in a timely fashion, please send information about your bankruptcy to the following resource account at RA-OUCB-BPC@pa.gov. If you are able, please attach a copy of any bankruptcy paperwork to the email to expedite processing. If you are unable to attach the bankruptcy notice, please include your name, bankruptcy number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number on the email. We will make every effort to stop inappropriate collection efforts once we receive your email.  If an amount is mistakenly taken by offset, a refund will be made as soon as possible.


WORKERS' COMPENSATION (WC) BENEFITS

Two filing options:

  • If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace, you may be eligible for Workers' Compensation (WC) by either:
    • Notifying your employer to file a typical "disease-as-injury" WC claim, which requires you to provide medical evidence that you were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace
    • Notifying your employer to file an "occupational disease" WC claim, which requires you to show that COVID-19 is occurring more in your occupation/industry than in the general population

Claims:

  • All WC claims (including COVID-19) are thoroughly reviewed, and decisions are made based on the facts and merits of each claim and the law

You can also access this information as a printable PDF

For the most accurate and timely COVID-19 information in Pennsylvania, visit the PA Department of Health website, health.pa.gov, Facebook page and Twitter account.